Plant-based drinks shouldn't be main beverage for young kids: experts
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 9:37AM EST
Canada's dietitians and pediatricians are discouraging parents from relying on plant-based drinks -- such as rice, coconut and almond milks -- as the main beverage for babies and young kids.
Dr. Catherine Pound of the Canadian Paediatric Society says some plant-based beverages are not fortified with any minerals or vitamins and often contain sugar as the second ingredient after water.
Kids aged two to eight need 13 to 19 grams of protein per day, which can be met with two cups of cow milk or two cups of fortified soy beverage.
Meanwhile, almond, coconut or rice drinks contain little to no protein and would require kids to also eat two child-sized servings of meat or two half-cup servings of lentils.
Almond drinks only contain about four almonds per cup.
The experts warn that drinking too much of the plant-based beverages can displace hunger and cause children to eat less food.